Arts & Entertainment

Former Othello sisters bringing 'Patsy Cline' show

OTHELLO -- The music of Patsy Cline remains as popular today as it was in the 1950s and '60s.

The country music hall of famer brought to life such hit tunes as Crazy, I Fall to Pieces and Sweet Dreams.

Sadly, Cline never got the chance to see how iconic her music would become. She died in a plane crash in 1963. She was 30 years old.

Two sisters, formerly from Othello, will get together and perform a musical tribute show, Always ... Patsy Cline, at Reichert's Showhouse in downtown Othello.

Always ... Patsy Cline was written by Ted Swindley and follows the relationship between Cline and one of her fans, Louise Seger, whom she became close friends with a couple years before her death.

Renee Reichert-Bagley from Kent will portray Cline. Her sister, Treva Reichert from Vancouver, will portray Seger.

"I have always been deeply moved by Patsy Cline's voice," Reichert said. "This musical play happens in the 1960s. Not only is the music wonderful, the characters are funny too."

Always ... Patsy Cline follows the letter-writing relationship that drew these two women together back in 1961. As the story goes, Seger befriended Cline in a Texas honky-tonk and maintained correspondence with her until her death. Seger died in 2004.

The show is taken from those letters, which the playwright found in a museum.

"Patsy Cline is an American icon," Reichert-Bagley said. "Her voice is timeless. When I tell people I'm doing a show about her, the typical response is, 'I love her! My mom loved her and I grew up listening to her.' This is quite a surprising response from some of my friends considering their main genre of music is rock or hip-hop."

The sisters come by their musical savvy genetically. Their parents, Bob and Donna Reichert of Othello, are musicians. Her dad taught music for many years from grade school to college before he retired, Reichert said.

"We had a wonderful childhood filled with dance, music and performance," her sister added.

Reichert-Bagley played in the country band Tumbleweed for a time and is a piano teacher when she isn't performing in community theater.

"My first experience with Patsy's music was during my time as the lead singer (in the Tumbleweed band), and I sang her songs," Reichert-Bagley said. "My parents saw Always ... Patsy Cline in Pittsburgh a few years ago."

The elder Reicherts fell in love with the show, their daughters said, and decided to bring the production to their movie house in Othello.

"I was thrilled, of course, with the opportunity to portray such a strong, fabulous woman, mother and singer," Reichert-Bagley said.

Her sister couldn't agree more. "This is a wonderful show," Reichert said. "It will, for sure, appeal to all ages."

What: Always ... Patsy Cline, a tribute show.

When: 7:30 p.m. Aug. 8-9 and 11 with matinees at 1 p.m. Aug. 9 and 4:15 p.m. Aug. 10.

Where: Reichert's Showhouse, downtown Othello.

Cost: $15 adults, $12 seniors and students in grades 6 and under. For matinees, $12 adults, $10 seniors and students.

Tickets: Call 509-488-9796 or at the door.

* Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; doneal@tricityherald.com

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